Atlanta Hawks Tickets


 

The franchise was formed in 1946 as the National Basketball League’s Buffalo Bisons. The Bisons featured center Don Otten and Coach Nat Hickey, but on December 27, 1946 – only thirteen games into their inaugural season – owner Ben Kerner moved the team to Moline, Illinois and renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in the Quad Cities area. The Tri-Cities were Moline, Rock Island, IL, and Davenport, IA. The Tri-Cities Blackhawks were named after the Black Hawk War that was mostly fought in Illinois. The Blackhawks became one of the National Basketball Association’s 17 original teams after a merger in 1949 of the 12-year-old NBL and the four-year-old Basketball Association of America. The Blackhawks reached the playoffs in the NBA’s inaugural year, under the leadership of coach Red Auerbach. However, the following season, after the team drafted Bob Cousy and made the blunder of trading his rights to the Chicago Stags, they failed to qualify for the postseason. In 1951, the franchise relocated to Milwaukee, and became the Milwaukee Hawks. In 1953, the Hawks drafted Bob Pettit, a future NBA MVP. Despite this, the Hawks were one of the league’s worst teams, and in 1955 the Hawks moved yet again, this time to St. Louis, MO. In 1957, the team advanced to the 1957 NBA Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics in a double-overtime thriller in game seven. In 1958, the Hawks again advanced to the NBA Finals under Coach Alex Hannum and captured their only NBA Championship in game 6 against the Celtics.

The Hawks remained one of the NBA’s premier teams for the next decade. In 1960, under Coach Ed Macauley, the team advanced to the Finals yet again, but lostagain to the Celticsin yet another game seven thriller. The following year, with the acquisition of rookie Lenny Wilkens, the Hawks repeated their success, but met the Celtics in the Finals again and lost in five games. The next few years the Hawks remained contenders, every year advancing deep into the playoffs and also capturing several division titles. Despite the success, Kerner became wary of the now-aging 10,000-seat Kiel Auditorium. The Hawks occasionally played at the St. Louis Arena, but Kerner was not willing to move the team there full-time because it hadn’t been well-maintained since the 1940s. Kerner wanted a new arena to increase revenue. However, he was rebuffed by the city on several occasions. In 1968, the team was sold to Atlanta real estate developer Tom Cousins and Georgia Governor Carl Sanders and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. While a new arena was being constructed, the team spent its first four seasons playing in Georgia Tech’s Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Cousins’ firm soon developed the Omni Coliseum, a 16,500-seat, state-of-the-art downtown Atlanta arena, for the Hawks and the expansion Atlanta Flames hockey franchise, which opened in 1972 as the first phase of a massive sports, office, hotel and retail complex, most of which is now the CNN Center. Atlanta Hawks tickets remain a tough sell; the team has had too many ups and downs to keep a consistent demand for tickets.